In spite of the tremendous faith that God has built up in my life over many decades, there are still times when my faith still feels weak to face the challenges that He has put in front of me.  This week has been one of those times.  Even though I feel tremendously blessed to be back in the classroom teaching, I am facing rather large challenges in adjusting to the physical demands and meeting the needs of my students, many of whom seem to be up against great challenges in their own lives, which detracts from the effort that they put into preparing for or doing the work for the class.  But I have faced so many challenges over the years in leading, motivating, and teaching people.  I know, in time, that God will help me get through to my students and help them develop the skills and motivation they need to be successful, not only in my class, but also in other future college classes.  At the present moment, though, the challenges seem to be monumental and are testing my faith. Like all of us, I have faced many such challenges to my faith over the years.  In such times, I often turn to a particular passage in the Bible for reassurance and encouragement.  The passage I’m referring to is the story of a  father who brings his son to Jesus for healing (Mark 9:14-27). 

The son had been possessed by an evil spirit for many years which made the boy deaf and dumb and which would often make the boy throw himself into fire and water, trying to make the boy “destroy himself.”  As you can imagine, the father was distraught, being unable to do anything to help the boy.  Before Jesus drove the evil spirit out of the boy and healed him, He spoke to the father and the people gathered around: “O faithless generation, how long shall I be with you? How long shall I bear with you? Bring him [the boy who was possessed] to Me.”  Then, after the boy was brought to Jesus, He asked a few questions of the father, and told the man, “If you can believe, all things are possible to him who believes.”   While the father seemed to understand what Jesus was saying to Him, he recognized that his faith was weak, so he said to Jesus, “Lord, I believe; help my unbelief!”  Jesus then commanded the evil spirit to leave the boy.  The evil spirit, recognizing Jesus’ authority as God and the Son of God, responded immediately, crying out, convulsing the boy, and then coming out of him.  The boy laid completely still afterwards and many thought he was dead, but Jesus then took the boy’s hand and helped him to his feet, and the boy was completely healed. 

This was just one of the many tremendous miracles that Jesus performed in the Bible, showing that He possessed great power over all things as God and as the Son of God.  But the story has always appealed to me because it reminds me that God can still work in my life even when my faith and my ability seem weak.  There are many times over the years when the obstacles in front of me seemed insurmountable and my courage waned.  In those times, I have often remembered this story in the Bible and have prayed the same prayer that the father in that story prayed:  “Lord, I believe; help my unbelief!”  Moreover, God has so often answered those prayers by giving me the faith, the strength, the power, the wisdom, and the courage to conquer those challenges, not in my power but in His power.  Just as with Paul in the Bible, with his “thorn in the flesh,” God’s “strength is made perfect” in our weakness.  And this is as it should be.  The glory should all go to Him as we have nothing within ourselves that God did not give us (1 Corinthians 4:7). Moreover, when we are weak, we are the perfect instruments in God’s hands since our will and pride do not get in the way of the working of God’s Spirit.  In such times, the “sufficiency” is entirely of God and not of us (2 Corinthians 4:7) as it should be.

I pray that you will find God’s perfect strength in your times of weakness and will be “more than conquerors” (Romans 8:37) in your lives.

 
 


Comments

The strength and support of the god is always with us. I think people should not get depressed with the tough situations and should have faith on god. All the lines are really well said in this blog.

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    I'm a retired soldier, having spent 23 years of my life serving our country, actually 30 years when you count the reserve and National Guard time as well.  I believe in servant leaders, following the example of our Lord, and I believe in giving back to the troops once one has attained a certain status or level of success in life.  But I also believe in fighting back against corruption and incompetence wherever you find it if it hurts people.  Our national values were worth dying for.  They are also worth living for.  A man or woman can actually live a life by these principles of humility, service, love, duty, and honor, and have a significant impact on the world around them...if you have the dedication to see it through. 

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